February 2018

Thursday 22 February, 11:15 for 11:45
Venue: Apex Grassmarket Hotel, 31-35 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, EH1 2HS

The Annual General Meeting of SCDI will be held at the Apex Grassmarket Hotel on Thursday 22 February 2018 between 11:45 and 12:30, followed by a networking lunch from 12:30 – 13:30. All members are invited.

This is a significant time of change, and SCDI has been considering its role working with and through our members to lead and shape Scotland's economy. We have set a new direction and an increase in our ambition for the future. We will share our plans at this meeting which will include a short annual address from SCDI's Chair, Brendan Dick.

Refreshments will be available prior to the meeting from 11:15. The AGM will conclude with a networking lunch enabling you to meet a wide cross-section of members and the SCDI team.

National challenge to encourage young people into STEM careers launched

January 2018

A major national challenge to excite and encourage children and young people into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) careers has been launched at Bridge of Weir Primary School today by Derek Mackay, local MSP and Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution.

The Scottish Council for Development and Industry’s (SCDI) Young Engineers and Science Clubs (YESC) programme and leading national water retailer Wave have joined forces to create SCDI’s 2018 Science Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Challenge, ‘Don’t Waste a Drop’.  The challenge – an annual competition for primary and secondary schools – will see 200 kits distributed to schools throughout Scotland and teams tasked with designing and building a pump and pipeline that can transfer water without wasting a drop. 

Teams will be invited to showcase their designs and put them to the test during SCDI’s Regional Celebration of STEM events, with cash prizes awarded to winning teams to invest in STEM resources. The challenge culminates with the final at SCDI’s Annual Celebration of STEM, where national winners will be decided.

Wave is a 50/50 joint venture between Anglian Water Business (AWB) and Northumbrian Water Group Business (NWGB) and is the second largest water retailer in Scotland.  Wave currently operates the Scottish Government contract for providing water billing and efficiency services to Scotland’s public sector, including schools, universities, and local authorities.

Rebecca MacLennan, YESC’s Programme Director, said: “We are delighted to be launching this project in partnership with Wave.  Water leakage is an important issue for households, businesses and the environment.   The theme of water conservation provides a topical context for pupils in schools across Scotland to develop their interest in science and engineering. Throughout the challenge they’ll develop valuable skills for learning, life and work while gaining a fantastic insight into the diverse range of career opportunities within Wave and the sector.”

Tony March, Head of Public Sector at Wave, added: “We’re proud to support this challenge and to highlight not only the difficulties faced by water suppliers in keeping water flowing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but also to inspire the next generation of STEM recruits. There are a wide variety of careers open to those with STEM qualifications and this challenge is a great opportunity to get young people excited about their future job prospects.”

Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution Derek Mackay, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for children to be creative and come up with innovative ways of conserving water which is important for our economy, environment, health and wellbeing.

“These are exactly the types of projects that can encourage young people to take an interest in STEM subjects like science and engineering and that can help us ensure our future workforce is well-equipped and supported to make the most of the fast-paced technological changes around us.”


SCDI responds to Scottish Government Draft Budget

December 2017

The Chief Executive of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) has urged caution following the Scottish Government's budget, warning that tax rises are not a panacea in developing a sustainable future economy for Scotland

Mark Bevan said:

"This is a progressive, mature and significant use of Scotland's income tax powers. However it comes on the back of a sustained period of weak growth in 2017 of 0.7% for the Scottish Economy. We need to review whether the revenues forecast are actually raised. An independent analysis of the spending priorities needs to be undertaken in light of ring fenced financing and the pressures on public services.

"We need a stronger correlation between our ambitions for society and the ability of our economy to deliver - this is a sign from government to link the two. But we can't tax our way out of our inequalities, labour market deficits, low productivity and stagnating growth. We need longer term thinking on policy, public infrastructure, investment and talent."

"Future growth requires our productivity challenge to be addressed and the initiatives which attract and retain talent will support this. In that context, we welcome the announcements on increasing research and development funding by 70% as well as a commitment to deliver £600m to ensure access to superfast broadband for all homes and businesses by 2021. Support for childcare is essential to ensure that all of our potential workforce can contribute to our future."

"SCDI's priority is to create an economy that delivers inclusive growth for every part of Scotland, working for business and working for society with change set within the context of wider uncertainties for the Scottish economy."


SCDI responds to Chancellor’s 2017 Budget

November 2017

Following Chancellor Philip Hammond’s, 2017 Budget announcement, Mark Bevan, Chief Executive of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) commented:

 “Today’s statement reinforces what we know about economic performance. It reminds us that sustainable growth requires long term policy, public infrastructure, investment and talent.

“The success of our future economy requires long-term strategic issues to be addressed systematically, rather than a focus on tomorrow’s headlines. First amongst those challenges is the need to address our productivity challenge, and the initiatives which value young people and encourage them to study, live and work in our economy are a step forward. They will help all sectors to attract and retain the talent they need to become more productive.

“The potential for public service investment driven by the VAT reform on emergency services, alongside the investment in both the UK industrial strategy and further research and development are warmly welcomed. Scotland’s two governments have a clearly diverging approach to the economy and taxation. 

“SCDI’s priority is to deliver an economy that delivers inclusive growth for every part of Scotland, working for business and working for society.” 


Investment in the public realm "key to Scotland's future" - SCDI

November 2017

The Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) has published an innovative report examining how place can enhance economic prosperity and encourage Scotland into a growth mindset for future city development.

Through convening an expert working group, comprising thought leaders in planning and development of public realm and cultural infrastructure spaces, SCDI has produced Productive Places: Creating spaces for the new economy to thrive. This thought-provoking report is intended to start the conversation about the importance of place and its role in enhancing economic growth in a digital era.

Mark Bevan, Chief Executive of SCDI, said:

“Productive Places is a response to the overwhelming economic transition Scotland has undergone in the last twenty years and how, as a society, we must shift mindset to enhance future city development.

“SCDI is looking to the Scottish Government, local authorities, businesses and third sector agencies to redouble efforts to reinvigorate Scotland’s public spaces and green places, recognising the vital importance of their role in our economy, in social-equity, environment and health.

“Our hope is that this report becomes a catalyst for conversations about Scotland’s needs in a future post-digital economy, how policymakers can support this and how business leaders will facilitate it. Scotland’s cities are the heartbeat of our future economy, and investment in our public realm is key to Scotland’s future.”

The report was authored by Professor Brian Evans, Head of Urbanism at the Glasgow School of Art. Professor Evans added:

“By 2050, the UN predicts that 75% of the world’s population will live in cities – we are in the century of the city.  In the global north there is a paradigm change from the industrial city to the knowledge city that are clustered around universities, cultural and learning neighbourhoods where there is a demand for mixed-use neighbourhoods and an experience economy.

“In this changing world, the quality of place becomes ever more important. Scotland’s cities are well placed to participate in this new economy. It was a privilege to work with SCDI to prepare this important paper as a contribution to the discussion on place as a driver of the future economy.”

The report can be accessed at: or download

Trevor Garlick appointed Chair of SCDI’s North East Committee

November 2017

The Scottish Council for Development and Industry has appointed a former regional president of BP as Chair of its North East Committee. Trevor Garlick OBE, who previously had responsibility for BP’s North Sea business, along with the firm’s assets in Scotland and Norway will take on the role, replacing Colin Parker, chief executive of Aberdeen Harbour.

As well as heading up the Committee, Trevor will also join SCDI’s board. SCDI recently announced a raft of new appointments to its board to reflect a new dynamism and focus, to create a practical blueprint for Scotland’s economic future. The board changes are part of a wider strategy within the organisation to demonstrate its members ambition and an investment in people and technology.

Commenting on his appointment, Trevor Garlick said:

"I look forward to picking up the reins from my predecessor Colin Parker and would like to acknowledge his sterling work of the past six years.  It is a privilege to be the latest in a lineage of North East Committee Chairs which dates back to 1965 and I aim to be a strong advocate for the interests of our members in the region to government and others.

"I also look forward to rejoining the SCDI Board and will seek to ensure that the NE Scotland business perspective is fully represented in SCDI’s Scotland-wide strategic thinking”.

Mark Bevan, Chief Executive of SCDI, added:

“We’re delighted to announce the appointment of Trevor as chair of our North East Committee and subsequently to our board. Trevor brings an incredible wealth of experience and exceptional skillset and will be an asset to SCDI at a key time for the organisation.

“SCDI has a unique role to play in shaping Scotland’s economic and social future by convening the combined strength of businesses, the public sector and government to work together to secure our sustainable economic growth and we are delighted to have made a number of high level appointments to support the growth and new direction of SCDI.”

Trevor will take up the post of chair from the start of January 2018.


Cross-border connectivity plans have “huge significance”

November 2017

The Scottish Council for Development and Industry has welcomed plans to improve cross-border connectivity between Scotland and England. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has today (Monday) announced major steps to reduce journey times by rail. 

Speaking to business leaders in Newcastle, the First Minister confirmed that  feasibility studies were being commissioned to identify options to help improve train journey times, capacity, resilience and reliability on services between Scotland and England. 

Mark Bevan, Chief Executive of SCDI, said:

“Improving transport connectivity is of huge significance to Scotland’s economy and future growth. With this in mind we welcome major steps to reduce journey times, like those announced today by the First Minister. 

“Businesses north of the border rely heavily on their ability to connect with the north of England, London, and the rest of the UK, so any measures which significantly reduce rail travel time will bring real benefits.  

“SCDI chairs the High Speed Rail Scotland Group and the latest proposals provide a framework for investing in Scotland’s wider rail network, ensuring that the improvements are felt throughout the whole country and not just across the central belt. Every area deserves to share in the benefits of economic growth and whilst ideas can travel quickly through our digital connections, that does not replace our need for transport links.”


SCDI announces key new board appointments

November 2017

The Scottish Council for Development and Industry has announced a number of key appointments to its board. Among the new board members are the Scotch Whisky Association's Chief Executive, Karen Betts; Stephen Boyle, Chief Economist for The Royal Bank of Scotland; former Scotland Office Minister Lord Andrew Dunlop; Cornerstone's Chief Executive Edel Harris; Jim McColl, Founder, Chairman & CEO of Clyde Blowers; Ray Riddoch, UK Managing Director & VP Europe, Nexen Petroleum UK Limited; and Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland.

Following the appointment of Mark Bevan as CEO in May the changes at Board level are associated with a new dynamism and focus, to create a practical blueprint for Scotland's economic future. This is amongst a raft of changes within the organisation to reflect its members ambition and an investment in people and technology.

SCDI President, Lady Susan Rice CBE said:

"SCDI hold a unique place in Scottish life looking at how businesses, the public sector and government can all work together to secure our sustainable economic growth. These new appointments, and the decision of these leaders from across Scotland to help guide the organisation, shows the strength we have in convening those who want to shape this country's future."

Mark Bevan, Chief Executive of SCDI, added:

"SCDI's Board has demonstrated exceptional strength in identifying the need for change in Scotland, for a need for all of the actors in our economy to become architects of our economic future and to put our economy to work for everyone who lives here."

"Following my appointment in May, we undertook a thorough review with the assistance of our members and supported by McKinsey and Company. The conclusion of that review, is that the SCDI has a unique role to play as Scotland's Economic and Social Forum and that there is an urgent need to act. This means drawing from our near 90 year heritage and setting a level of future ambition commensurate with Scotland's leading lights across the private, public and not for profit sectors. I am delighted to announce a number of high level appointments from across Civic Scotland to complement our existing board."

These appointment's join the existing board members Brendan Dick, SCDI Chair and Managing Director BT Regions & Director of BT Scotland; Ian Wall, SCDI Deputy Chair; Stewart Carruth, Chief Executive of Stirling Council; Jane Cumming, Chair of SCDI Highlands & Islands Committee and Managing Director, Platform PR; James Fowlie, Director of Integration & Development at COSLA; Willie Maltman, Director of Future Proof Learning; Mark Bevan, Chief Executive of SCDI; Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK; Steve Montgomery, Managing Director - UK Rail at FirstGroup plc; Colin Parker, Chair of SCDI North East Committee and Chief Executive of Aberdeen Harbour; Malcolm Robertson, Chair of SCDI London Committee; and Managing Director of Charlotte Street Partners; Grahame Smith, General Secretary of the Scottish Trades Union Congress; and Michael Urquhart, SCDI Finance Adviser and Chair, SCDI International Business Committee.

SCDI urges MSPs to look to the long term in debate on Scotland’s tax future

November 2017

The Scottish Council for Development and Industry has welcomed a debate on tax following the Scottish Government paper on income tax rate options.

The Role of Income Tax in Scotland’s Budget, published today (Thursday 2nd November), sets out the Scottish Parliament’s powers over income tax, its budgetary contribution, who pays and the benefits of taxation for individuals and businesses.

Mark Bevan, Chief Executive of SCDI, said:

“SCDI fully supports building a constructive and considered debate on Scotland’s tax future and we urge caution on short-term measures for a more longer term and balance view on tax which delivers economic prosperity and good quality of life for all.


“Crucially, government, industry and civic society need to work together on a tax strategy for the long term, so that we can be confident that the post-digital, low carbon economy now emerging will support inclusive growth, public services and fiscal sustainability during significant changes in business models, working practices and life.”


The Finance Secretary Derek Mackay MSP will host two stakeholder roundtables later this month with business organisations, trade unions, civic society and tax professionals.



October 2017


Come and work with us

Do you share our ambition to make Scotland the best country in the world in which to live, work and spend time? Are you interested in meeting some of the most influential leaders in Scotland and from around the world, and do you have the skills we need to help those people, our members, to make Scotland the very best it can be, for everyone? Then you should think about coming to work with us.

SCDI is Scotland's Economic and Social Forum. Our small team brings together leaders and influencers from the worlds of business, the social economy, politics, academia, trades unions and faith organisations. Our goal is simple; sustainable economic growth which delivers prosperity for all of Scotland. We are a not for profit company with a clear purpose, strong on enthusiasm and competence, and because what our team does matters to Scotland's future, we look after them well.

Our Board appointed a new CEO in May and we are going through some big changes to ensure we reflect the level of ambition we have with investment in people and technology. We work in a very dynamic and ambitious environment and are looking to fill three brand new posts to complement our existing team and strengthen our offer.

Communications Director – you craft a story because you share our values and purpose, but you are not sentimental about your work, you know that it's the results that matter. You will enjoy creating campaigns and have great attention to detail, working really well in a small team. Always looking outwards to tell the story you will be experienced in traditional print and broadcast media and enthusiastic about digital communications. You will be confident because you are a competent performer. This role is demanding, in addition to your specialism in communications you will be one of the senior team working with the Chief Executive to grow an organisation which is ambitious to make Scotland the very best place in the world to live, work and play.

Policy Analyst – you will know that effective policy work can change the direction of the country and you will be keen to work on big issues with big impact. Perhaps your experience is limited, but you will understand the policy environment in Scotland. You will ask for help when you need it and expect others in the team to support you and to listen to your ideas. You can work on multiple campaigns and thrive on meeting others to gather evidence to develop positions which you will write and present, sometimes to audiences which might be a bit daunting. Your enthusiasm and attention to detail will see you through.

Membership Administrator – you want a role which can grow as you increase your skills and confidence. You like working with other people and get on well with others, equally you can really concentrate on tasks that involve data and you have great attention to detail. You are fairly confident, not shy to ask for help when a getting to grips with a new task and if you see something that could be done better you will shout out.

Whichever role suits you, SCDI aims to support your development and to be flexible to meet your needs, recognising that we need flexibility from you to deliver our work. In return we offer a competitive pension and benefits package.

Applications (CV and covering letter) should be sent to by 12noon on Monday 30th October.


Scottish Businesses Rising To International Challenges

September 2017

SCDI leads charge to help Scottish businesses achieve global ambitions

In Glasgow on Thursday 21 September, SCDI convened a Summit of Scotland's business leaders to identify opportunities for the country to fulfil its global economic potential in a post-Brexit environment.

The annual SCDI International Business Summit brought together leaders from key sectors across the Scottish economy and expert speakers from government and industry. The summit on the theme of 'Scottish Business: Rising To International Challenges' examined the landscape surrounding Scotland's international trade and considered the critical foundations that will help to form a post-Brexit trade agenda for the Scottish economy.

Mark Bevan, SCDI Chief Executive, commented: "As the World Economic Forum meets in New York to discuss sustainable international trade, SCDI convened its third International Business Summit to identify how Scotland can maximise global opportunities and navigate this increasingly complex environment.

"Scotland is home to many international success stories - from our universities and tech sector to tourism, travel, food and drink. Their growth, increased output and investment provide grounds for optimism. However, with significant challenges on the horizon and little certainty on the landscape, action must be taken to support Scotland's economic strengths."

The summit heard from a range of experts and business leaders, including EDF Energy, AGS Airports Ltd, Lloyds Banking Group, Scotland Food & Drink and TATA Limited in UK.

Mark Bevan continued: "Today's findings will help to prepare the foundations for a post-Brexit trade agenda for the Scottish economy. SCDI will continue its work to shape the future economy of Scotland, taking steps to support and meet the needs of business growth over the coming decades." 

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Awards Ceremony Recognises Highlands & Islands Business Achievements

September 2017 | Highlands & Islands

Deputy First Minister celebrates Scottish successes at SCDI Highlands & Islands Business Excellence Awards

Business leaders from across Scotland gathered in Inverness on the eve of Friday 8 September 2017 to celebrate success at the annual SCDI Highlands & Islands Business Excellence Awards, presented by Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP.

The Awards showcased the achievements of organisations from across the Highlands and Islands and celebrated business excellence in a range of sectors - from local authorities initiatives and fish farming, to marine energy and transport - demonstrating the diverse nature of the Highlands and Islands economy.

Delivered by SCDI, the Awards are supported by high profile sponsors - including SEPA, Crown Estate Scotland, Liberty British Aluminium, HIE Scotland and Benromach - and are rigorously judged, providing the opportunity for organisations to be recognised for their businesses achievements.

Awards host and popular comedian, Marcus Brigstocke, was joined by Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP who presented the Awards.

Mr Swinney had earlier in the evening delivered the Keynote Address, focussing on the themes of an inclusive economy in Scotland for all geographies and society, and the importance of business internationalisation. He commended SCDI's ability since it's foundation in 1931 to bring together disparate opinions in the pursuit of finding a common cause, through open and honest conversation and collaboration. The 350 dinner guests heard of The Scottish Government's aim to make Scotland an inclusive, fair, prosperous and innovative country.

Amongst the Winners on the evening was Loch Ness by Jacobite. The company picked up the prestigious SCDI Highlands & Islands Chair's Award for Outstanding Business Achievement. Loch Ness by Jacobite was recognised for its remarkable reputation, gained over the past 40 years, in helping thousands of visitors access and experience the magic of Loch Ness. Under the leadership of Freda Newton the company has grown its fleet and is one of Scotland's finest tourist attractions. 

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SCDI Convenes Civic & Business Leaders - Outlines Economic Case To HM Treasury

September 2017

SCDI today (Thursday 7 September 2017) welcomed the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, The Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP, to Glasgow and discuss a range of opportunities for the UK Government to further support and strengthen Scotland's economic growth.

At a roundtable event, SCDI and a range of Scotland's business leaders, met with the Chief Secretary to discuss how the UK Government can help to realise Scotland's economic potential.

Mark Bevan, SCDI Chief Executive, commented: "As Scotland's economic forum, SCDI welcomed the opportunity to engage with the Chief Secretary and civic and business leaders from across our membership on the opportunities and challenges the economy faces over the years ahead.

"SCDI will be working to ensure Scotland's economic strengths, both sectoral and regional, are supported through the UK Government's Industrial strategy as it develops, and all members highlighted opportunities, and we must co-ordinate, between businesses, regions and Governments to realise them. To unlock these as we move through the Brexit process it is important that Scottish businesses are as confident as possible that their interests and needs are being taken into account, and that there is greater clarity for example in relation to future funding for innovation and regeneration

"As we chart our course over the next few years, we must not lose sight of changing global trends and look to shape the future economy of Scotland, taking steps to support and meet the needs of businesses growth over the coming decades."

The roundtable is an essential part of SCDI's engagement with both the UK and Scottish Government in order to deliver a sustainable economy and successful society for the long-term in Scotland. 

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SCDI Responds To First Minister's Economic Statement

August 2017

Following the First Minister's announcement on Economic Innovation (31 Aug.2017), Mark Bevan, Chief Executive of SCDI, commented:

"The First Minister's continuing commitment to support Scotland's immense economic potential is hugely positive and has the full backing of SCDI. We wholeheartedly support all efforts to accelerate the pace of Scotland's economic innovation and believe that this should be backed by both investment, collaboration and long term commitments. As the economy faces up to the challenges posed by Brexit, the post-digital age and demographic change, we need to use our agility as a small, digitally enabled economy to forge future success."

"SCDI welcomes the additional investment in economic development, but it is vital that the rural economy in particular, where many enterprises flourish, is not left behind. That's why we are shortly to launch our call for the formation of an inclusive and dynamic Rural Commission, which can draw together relevant interests to face up to the challenges of infrastructure, connectivity and demography. It is vital that Government supports the creation of a vision for inclusive growth in rural Scotland.

"This speech is a timely reminder that Scotland's economic strengths as a nation must be supported through the UK Government's Industrial strategy, and that strategy must genuinely deliver for businesses and communities across Scotland."

Responding to the First Minister's stated ambition to drive technological and societal change, Mark Bevan continued: "Our national priority must be to deliver an economy that drives inclusive growth for every part of Scotland - growth that works for business and for wider society. For too long business success and social benefit have been seen as alternatives - we need to see them as mutually beneficial." 

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Freedom of Movement Essential to Sustaining Scotland's Economy

August 2017

SCDI has called on the UK Government to provide urgent clarity on a permanent post-Brexit immigration policy and certainty on freedom of movement for EU nationals - protecting Scotland's labour market from net migration and sustaining the Scottish economy.

In its response to the Scottish Parliament Culture, Tourism, Europe & External Relations Committee Immigration Inquiry, SCDI has called for immediate reassurances to be provided to Scottish businesses on the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and for a framework to be implemented which mitigates against a potential vacuum of labour exiting the UK.

Mark Bevan, SCDI Chief Executive, commented: "Scotland is heavily reliant upon a workforce that originates from other EU countries. Many sectors, from banking and finance, to hospitality and manufacturing, are supported by this labour supply. These workers all play a significant role in shaping and supporting Scotland's economy and it is vital that is protected in any Brexit deal agreed.

"With one in 20 workers in Scotland born in other EU countries, employers urgently need certainty and clarity. Certainty that their current, and future, labour supply is protected. Clarity that the UK Government will be proposing a post-Brexit immigration policy that will continue to support sustainable economic growth in Scotland.

"Recent figures have revealed that the EU Referendum outcome could be directly encouraging EU citizens to migrate out of the UK. Whilst the Home Secretary has tried to assure us that there will not be a 'cliff edge' for employers or EU nationals in the UK, we are certainly at a crossroads. The UK Government must provide enough information to ensure we can continue to deliver ongoing economic prosperity." 

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SCDI Welcomes Barclay Review of Scottish Business Rates

August 2017

Review puts forward imaginative steps to improve the competitiveness of the Scottish Business Rate System.

SCDI has welcomed the Barclay Review of Business Rates in Scotland and called on The Scottish Government to move quickly to ensure that Scotland can continue to encourage investment.

SCDI's submission to the Review raised the importance of maintaining Scotland's competitiveness and questioned whether this could be achieved given the requirement for the review to be based on revenue neutrality - when revenue from Business Rates has grown and the number of property intensive sectors shrinking, resulting in the overall tax collected being payed from a declining tax base.

However, SCDI has welcomed a series of positive proposals contained within the Review, including:

  • Increasing the frequency of revaluations
  • A 12-month delay to increased rates after investment in business expansion
  • Reduction in the supplementary charge on large business premises 

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SCDI Opportunity - Director of Policy & Place

July 2017

Position: Director of Policy & Place, SCDI

Location: Based in Glasgow, with regular travel throughout Scotland

Closing Date for Applications was Thursday 20 July 2017 (12noon)

The Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) is an independent and inclusive economic development network which seeks to influence and inspire Government and Key Stakeholders with our ambitious vision to create sustainable economic growth for Scotland. SCDI's diverse and influential membership forms a gathering of knowledge, experience and talent which provides a dynamic and creative force for change.

We are seeking to further strengthen our team with the appointment of a self-motivated and creative strategic thinker who can drive change and steer Policy work in the emerging economy whilst maintaining connection to the heritage of SCDI. 

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SCDI Responds To Scottish Government Economic Announcement

July 2017

Following The Scottish Government's announcement on 5 July 2017 of the latest GDP Statistics noting that the Scottish economy grew by 0.8% during the first quarter of 2017, Mark Bevan, Chief Executive of SCDI, commented:

"While the return to growth reported in these latest statistics is welcome, SCDI still sees fragility in the overall economy.

"The global picture has been challenging, especially for some key sectors of the Scottish economy. Signs of an upturn for those sectors and others is positive, but if growth is to be sustained the biggest issue is tackling weak productivity. The latest figures for the UK, also published today, show a 0.5% fall in UK labour productivity re-emphasise this point.

"SCDI is looking in more depth at the detail underlying growth figures and will be taking soundings from members around the sharp uptick in some sectors to understand what the drivers behind it are.

"We need to mould our economic behaviour and policy to take advantage of improvements such as that reported today but be mindful that strategic policy should target actions which will build a stronger and more sustainable economy. We will work with industry and government to identify what we can, and should, do to create more prosperity for the good of business and society." 

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Responding To Scotland's Global Economic Challenge

June 2017

Following a high-level briefing exclusively received on Friday 30 June from the Fraser of Allander Institute (FAI), the inclusive economic development network SCDI has jointly launched a plan with FAI to bring forward a strategic response to the challenges outlined. SCDI will convene an informed and focussed response from its membership and wider civic Scotland, drawn from across the public, private and social economy sectors.

The data presented by Fraser of Allander confirmed that whilst many changes in the country's fortunes have been positive, many significant high-level challenges remain, including:

  • Scottish economic growth has stagnated in 2016
  • the number of Scots who are economically inactive has risen by 60,000
  • the rise in GDP/head over the decade to 2016 has been 1.2%, whilst the equivalent rise between 1999 and 2006 was 17%.

SCDI believes that a cross-sectoral and strategic approach is required to address these weaknesses in the Scottish economy, and it will be formulating a strategic response through its membership and more widely - including at its autumn policy conference in October. The event was attended by a cross-section of SCDI's senior membership, from sectors including banking, legal, further and higher education, construction and food and drink. 

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SCDI Welcomes Enterprise & Skills Proposals, But Highlights Need For Greater Focus

June 2017

Following the release of The Scottish Government Enterprise & Skills Review final report by Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs & Fair Work, Keith Brown MSP (22 June 2017), SCDI has called for urgent speed to be applied to address the structural problems for Scotland's economy.

SCDI has welcomed the report, which sets out proposals to improve business and skills support and enable Scottish businesses to grow. However, the membership body, which was on the Enterprise & Skills Ministerial Review Group, has encouraged both the Scottish and UK Governments to sharpen their focus and be bold in their ambitions for both the UK and Scotland on the world stage.

Mark Bevan, Chief Executive, SCDI commented: "We welcome many of the measures in this latest report from The Scottish Government and the more integrated support that it will provide in bolstering Scotland's economy. However, it is very clear that we are still lacking an ambitious strategy for Scotland which joins-up Scottish and UK economic policies and relationships, and sets out how Scotland will prosper in a rapidly changing global economy, where economic disruptions and multiple career working lives are the norm.

"We need both the Scottish and UK Governments to work together to ensure that the UK Government Industrial Strategy sharpens its focus and delivers for Scotland. It must be ambitious for the UK with specific support and reference to Scotland's key areas of economic potential. It must recognise our ability to be leaders in life sciences, education and technology, amongst many other sectoral strengths.

"Our national priority must be to deliver an economy that delivers inclusive growth for every part of Scotland, working for business and working for society." 

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